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Online platform launched to inspire local young people to consider careers in construction

10th November 2020

The Midland Metro Alliance has launched an online platform to inspire the next generation of youngsters in the West Midlands to consider careers in construction and railway engineering.

Connecting Futures, which launched today, is a sub-site of the Midland Metro Alliance’s website and is related to the already successful work undertaken to encourage young people to consider the construction industry as a potential career path recognising that there are many and varied roles within it. The platform has short videos from employees at the alliance sharing personal insights into their specific job role and their career journeys, and includes focuses on topics including apprenticeships, graduate scheme and how to progress in the sector. Organisations can also use the site to get directly in touch with the alliance for further help and guidance in this important area.

Rose Rees, Head of Engagement and Skills for the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “We have previously travelled across the West Midlands, sharing this information directly with our future talent bank in secondary schools, colleges and youth organisations. However, with Covid-19, we recognised the need to update our guidance to a more innovative delivery method to ensure that we can still offer young people information and advice enabling them to continue to have an informed choice of career options.”

Julie Thompson, Skills and Engagement Advisor, added: “Our sector is more varied than people think and Connecting Futures will give young people across the region a more accurate picture of what it is like to work in the construction industry in 2020. I am really grateful to my colleagues for giving up their time to be interviewed, allowing us to continue to inspire young people at this uncertain time.”

Across the summer and through the autumn, both remotely and in person, the alliance Communications and Engagement and Skills Teams have been interviewing colleagues to create the guidance videos and have often been surprised at their colleagues’ varied experiences as well as being inspired by their advice to young people. Content, and deeper dives into particular job-roles and topics, will continue to be added to the site on a regular basis to make Connecting Futures a hub for local career advice which people will want to bookmark.

Simon Maxfield, Vice Principal at Thomas Telford University Technical College in Wolverhampton, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that the alliance has launched this initiative. There’s a clear need for children’s education to continue during the pandemic, but similarly, guidance on career options is crucial too and in twenty years I have never seen a group of students be more anxious about what opportunities are available. An online platform is the ideal way, in the current situation, to bring the guidance to the students and I would urge other schools in the area to ensure they are using Connecting Futures as part of their careers advice programmes.”

Emma Searle, Business Engagement Advisor for Black Country Talent Match, a local project which supports young adults who are out of work, training or education, added: “The Connecting Futures initiative is a fantastic idea and a brilliant example of companies using innovative technology to continue to support those on their career journey during a time when the need to socially distance is vital. As with the last economic downturn, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to adversely impact younger people, so it is positive to see organisations like the Midland Metro Alliance continue to focus on providing career advice in these uncertain times.”

The Midland Metro Alliance, which is extending the Metro across the region on behalf of Transport for West Midlands, has led a number of skills and training initiatives, including helping to launch the first apprenticeship in the country for light rail construction and running award-winning sector based work academies to help unemployed people take their first steps into the construction industry.

To access Connecting Futures, visit: